mardi 4 janvier 2011

PICTURE PALACE MUSIC: Somnambulistic Tunes (2007)

Picture Palace Music is the musical project of Thorsten Quaeschning, Tangerine Dream’s own Edgar Froese new acolyte. The main idea behind this project is to pay a musical tribute to silent films, but completely silent ones, challenging sound perceptions of this era with today’s interpretations. An ambitious and interesting venture which starts on a beautiful way with Somnambulistic Tunes, inspired by Robert Wiene’ film Das Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. This pioneer movie of the German expressionism cinema was release in 1919 and tells the story of a mysterious travelling acrobat who makes committing crimes by a sleepwalker. One describes this picture as dark and very nightmarish.
On this level, the work of Picture Palace Music doesn’t reach such a paroxysm. On the other hand Thorsten Quaeschning astonishes by delivering a very atmospheric opus where the drama is finely presents on superb orchestral arrangements. Overture bursts on a lively and vibrating tonality with a more dramatic structure which is settling on percussions to symphonic rolling. A harmonious elegy flies over this dense philharmonic structure kneads of heavy and sliding violin and cello mellotron strings of which the course is ending on disparate percussions. Little Town of Holstenwall follows on a rather parallel rhythm, where a bass and hopping sequence oscillates on strata of an atmospheric guitar which float in a light and heterogeneous universe. By now we seize the grip of Quaeschning. He’s pivoting from a structure to another in accordance with is visions. Annual Fair has a more rock beat. A rock steady which is harmonizing with angelic and Victorian vocalizes. Contrasts are linking brilliantly while infiltrating an orchestral side quite fleshed out as the superb title track and Streets of Holstenwall. Gradually Thorsten Quaeschning imposes his vision which is drawing with art in a diversity of styles and an overflowing scriptural imagination. Night, Night, Night and Help, Murder, Help are 2 superb musical pieces which swim in dark spheres tinted of a neurotic luminosity as choirs that revolve all around, by far these are the strongest moments of Somnambulistic Tunes.
After these tracks we enter through a more balanced universe with much more atmospheres. Less rhythmic, Somnambulistic Tunes ravels its introspection on the slow and heavy moves of Funfair 1919with its percussions which plough a penetrating atmosphere. The ambiance within is darker with strange linear pulsations which are intermingling to short heterogeneous harmonies where a beautiful sax illuminates the moon on The Funural Night. Slow ambiances are waked up by percussions both lugubrious and lively of On the Run whereas looks of burials from Celebrating Fears Part II are of a striking surrealism, plunging back the listener into the sombre moods of Somnambulistic Tunes. Then comes Invastigation and its very beautiful charming piano which monopolizes all the attention. The tone is light, almost atonal, but of an undeniable scriptural beauty. As for me, it’s the only track that could link Thorsten Quaeschning’s collaboration with Tangerine Dream. The album ends on 2 other beautiful tracks with dense and harmonious symphonic incantations, taking again melodious snippets that we find around the opus, as the very beautiful Night, Night, Night.
I was very impress by the quality of Somnambulistic Tunes. It’s a work conceived with fingering worthy of renowned artists. Obviously, Thorsten Quaeschning is very talented and owns a very visual sense of writing. Our eyes closed, we can feel the obsessed mood and the insane glances of these actors of silent ages which had from their visages what the voice didn’t give. Here, Picture Palace Music gives to visages the missing colors and to movie the sonorous dimension of the heavy orchestrations with tenebrous and dramatic superb arrangements, tinted of an anxious romantic. A great surprise and an album that will be the spearhead of a stunning suite!

Sylvain Lupari (2007)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

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